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Kashmir University official, J&K cop sacked for Pak terror link

3 Jammu and Kashmir Government employees sacked for actively working with Pakistan backed terror outfits.

Srinagar: On an extraordinary approval of Lieutenant General Manoj Sinha, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has terminated the services of three employees, including the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University of Kashmir, for their alleged involvement in promotion of terrorism in the Kashmir valley.

Their dismissal orders have been issued under Article 311 (2) (c) of the Constitution of India which empowers the LG to terminate an official on the recommendation of a panel of top bureaucrats and police officers without an inquiry.

With the latest termination orders, the total number of the employees of the J&K Government departments and the Government-administered institutions dismissed over charges of involvement in separatist and terrorist activities in the last two years has risen to 52.

Officials said that a number of faculty and administration officials of the University of Kashmir besides a “separatist-turned-businessman kingpin” were still under the scanner of the security and intelligence agencies. “Action under them all is underway”, said an officer.

Those dismissed in the latest order include Faheem Aslam, the PRO of the University of Kashmir, a Revenue Department official Murawat Hussain Mir and Constable Arshid Ahmad Thokar of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. They had allegedly been “working with the Pakistani terror outfits, providing logistics to terrorists, propagating terrorist ideology, raising terror finances and furthering a secessionist agenda.”

Authorities claimed they were terminated after it was established in ‘painstaking investigation’ that they had been “acting on behalf of Pakistan ISI and terror outfits”.

Faheem Aslam, the son of a former Professor and Head of the PG Department of English at the University of Kashmir, then working with the local English daily ‘Greater Kashmir’, was engaged on temporary basis for the press and public relations job in 2008 and subsequently regularised against a permanent cadre post. Officials insist that the vacancy was never advertised to fulfil the constitutional requirement of allowing all candidates in the completion and no interviews were held for the selection of the meritorious candidate.

According to them, Aslam continued to simultaneously work as “full-time sub-editor” with Greater Kashmir and took salary in cash from the publication since 2008 without seeking such permission from the University. They said that Aslam as a reporter and sub-editor with Greater Kashmir supported and promoted secessionism in Kashmir. Senior police officers described him as a “diehard secessionist who not only subscribes to and endorses the secessionist ideology, but has been a key propagandist for terrorists and terror outfits in the Kashmir valley”.

“Further investigation will be launched to nab the kingpin of the terror-separatist syndicate, who is said to have operated as a close aide of the terrorist Shabir Shah before venturing into legitimate business with seed money received from Pakistan ISI. He was clandestinely allowed to enter into public employment through the  backdoor,” said a top-ranking police officer.

Officials maintained that Aslam remained affiliated with the JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik and the separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and he facilitated their visits and inspections at the University of Kashmir.

“He played a key role as an activist, secessionist-narrative peddler and organiser in the violent agitations of 2008, 2010 and 2016. He has been at the forefront of these agitations in planning and organising demonstrations especially at the Kashmir University campus. He would often figure in newspaper photographs and other audio-visual media bytes, which he subsequently deleted. He is still influencing young boys and girls towards secessionism who study or seek admission in the University of Kashmir.

Officials said that after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Aslam had deleted a large number of his legally and politically objectionable posts on Facebook but these were successfully retrieved during an investigation. “These posts depict beyond doubt that he is a hardcore Pak-embedded high value asset of terror outfits, responsible for promoting and glamorising terrorism”, said an official while referring to his dossier.

In one of such posts dated 23 May 2020, Aslam allegedly said: “Nothing can ever change one reality; Kashmir will always observe Eid with Pakistan, ALWAYS! That’s for Pakistan, not Kashmiris. We will go with Pakistan. Let Pakistan decide who they want to go with: Choudhary sb or Mufti sb”.

In another Facebook post, Aslam wrote: “May Allah [SWT] ease the sufferings of Muslims across the globe, especially in Palestine, Kashmir and Pakistan. May the occupation end and occupiers burn in hell. May Allah accept the sacrifices of martyrs and may Gaza and Kashmir see the dawn of freedom soon. [Ameen]”. On 4 August 2015, he posted: “Epitaph on the grave of my cousin from Islamabad (read Anantnag) who was martyred by Indian occupational forces on 27 October 1990. He was 20 years then. Please read the lines once and pray for his soul. May his soul rest in peace. Ameen!!!”

The UT Government has also dismissed Constable Arshid Ahmad Thokar who managed his entry in J&K Police and posting as Personal Security Officer and driver with several protected persons and VIPs. He was simultaneously in touch with the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad and working for it. He allegedly established a narco-terror module in Chadoora-Kakapora belt of South Kashmir and indulged in terror financing.

“Instead of helping the department in fighting terror which he was mandated for, he chose to be a mole and a collaborator and betrayed his oath and uniform. Arshid’s disloyalty towards the nation and department by becoming an accomplice and OGW of JeM terror outfit has wreaked colossal damage on the department, society and the state,” said an official, quoting his dossier.

The Revenue Department official Murawat Hussain Mir of Pampore, who was clandestinely reinstated into service and remained often posted at DC office Srinagar and Divisional Commissioner’s office Kashmir, after his arrest in a terror-related case, has also been dismissed. He allegedly indulged in extortion of officials at Tehsil Office Pampore, Tral and other places.

In October 1995, Murawat with four JKLF and Hizbul Mujahideen associates was arrested by security forces at Rajbagh in Srinagar. An investigation revealed that they planned to blow up a vital installation in which they had arranged a substantial quantity of explosives/bombs which was later recovered from their possession. After 8 months of his detention, Murawat was released and permitted back into service.

Murawat established some charities which played a role in spreading the unrest of 2008, 2010 and 2016. He also managed his son Haris Murawat’s admission in MBBS of a Pakistani college with the help of United Jihad Council. He has been terminated after 33-year-long association with militancy and simultaneous government service in Jammu and Kashmir.